MISHAWAKA – The city of Mishawaka has pledged to try as hard as it can to get the Lincolnway West project done early. The road has been closed between Ironwood and Logan, causing a major burden on businesses there.
On Thursday, Mayor Dave Wood had a meeting with about 15 business owners to talk about their concerns. He says the city is increasing signs to let people know the businesses are open and accessible, opening up a line of communication for businesses to explain potential problems. And most importantly, trying to get the project done faster.
For one business though, it can't come fast enough.
"This is Friday, Fridays and Saturdays are our busiest days and we've had 10, 11 customers today." Sophia Anderson said.
Anderson is the owner of S and P Discount Grocery. She sells discounted food to many people who can't afford anything else. She says the road closure has all but closed her doors.
When asked if she thought her store would survive another week, Anderson said no.
"We just can't keep going with so little income, because it doesn't pay the bills." She said.
Anderson understands the construction is necessary and isn't putting the blame on anyone. Century old sewage pipes, that run through the middle of the road, are failing. The only way to do the work is by blocking the road which in turn restricts traffic and profits for nearly every business along the road.
While many of the businesses can weather the storm, S & P may not be able to. The business started only three months ago and is just trying to get started.
"We sympathize with those frustrations absolutely, but this project is not being done because we want to do it, it's being done because we have to do it." Mayor Dave Wood said.
Wood says he's trying his best to help. The city has added signs to let people know the businesses are open. And the city is also trying to get the project done a week earlier than scheduled.
"We are paying at our own expense the overtime to have additional crews out here to narrow that time-line so we can get that street back open for our businesses." Wood said.
Wood says the project should be finished next Friday, weather permitting.